6.6/10
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The Howling (1981)

R | | Horror | 10 April 1981 (USA)
Trailer
1:35 | Trailer
After a bizarre and near deadly encounter with a serial killer, a television newswoman is sent to a remote mountain resort whose residents may not be what they seem.

Director:

Joe Dante

Writers:

Gary Brandner (based on the novel by), John Sayles (screenplay by) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
1,370 ( 2,952)
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dee Wallace ... Karen White
Patrick Macnee ... Dr. George Waggner
Dennis Dugan ... Chris
Christopher Stone ... R. William 'Bill' Neill
Belinda Balaski ... Terry Fisher
Kevin McCarthy ... Fred Francis
John Carradine ... Erle Kenton
Slim Pickens ... Sam Newfield
Elisabeth Brooks ... Marsha
Robert Picardo ... Eddie
Margie Impert Margie Impert ... Donna
Noble Willingham ... Charlie Barton
James Murtaugh ... Jerry Warren
James MacKrell James MacKrell ... Lew Landers (as Jim McKrell)
Kenneth Tobey ... Older Cop
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Storyline

In a red light district, newswoman Karen White is bugged by the police, investigating serial killer Eddie Quist, who has been molesting her through phone calls. After police officers find them in a peep-show cabin and shoot Eddie, Karen becomes emotionally disturbed and loses her memory. Hoping to conquer her inner demons, she heads for the Colony, a secluded retreat where the creepy residents are rather too eager to make her feel at home. There also seems to be a bizarre connection between Eddie Quist and this supposedly safe haven. And when, after nights of being tormented by unearthly cries, Karen ventures into the forest and makes a terrifying discovery. Written by Tim Kretschmann <Tim.K@VirComm.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The fright begins this fall... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final transformation had to be done all in close-up because this movie had exceeded its budget by then, and this had to be shot in Joe Dante's office because they had no money for sets anymore. See more »

Goofs

When Eddie is transforming into a wolf in front of Karen, his left hand turns gray and grows hair down to the knuckles. Then in the shot of his arm muscles expanding, his left hand has a normal skin color and hair only down to his wrist. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Dr. George Waggner: Repression. Repression is the father of neurosis, of self-hatred. Now, stress results when we fight against our impulses. We've all heard people talk about animal magnetism, the natural man, the noble savage, as if we'd lost something valuable in our long evolution into civilized human beings. Now there's a good reason for this.
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Crazy Credits

A burger being fried on a grill plays out over the closing credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the French video version (TF1) The scene where "Eddie" rips a bullet out of his forehead just before turning into a werewolf is missing. The theater version was uncut though. See more »

Connections

Features The Big Bad Wolf (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Terry and Karen/Delirium
(uncredited)
Composed by Pino Donaggio
Conducted by Natale Massara
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User Reviews

'The Howling' is one of the all time best werewolf movies.
2 June 2004 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

Most of my favourite horror movies of the 1980s were small, indie movies made outside the major studio system e.g. 'The Evil Dead', 'Maniac', 'Basket Case'. Most of the "big" horror movies then (like now) were pretty lame. 'The Howling' is a notable exception. Watching it over twenty years after it was originally released is quite an eye-opener. It not only holds up well, it is in fact, a damn fine movie. Joe Dante must take the credit for this. For me in the 1980s Dante was like a smarter, more inventive Spielberg. Dante, who learned his chops working for Roger Corman as an editor, writer and director, is a knowledgeable horror buff (Universal, Hammer, Bava movies) with a sly wit and great sense of fun. 'The Howling' is full of in jokes and ironic nods, but never goes all the way into comedy. Dante takes the material seriously. This is a pretty scary movie and the werewolves are some of the best ever seen. Dee Wallace ('The Hills Have Eyes', 'The Frighteners') is a TV reporter who is traumatized after a close encounter with a serial killer (Dante regular Robert Picardo). Dr. Waggner (Patrick Macnee of 'The Avengers' fame), a charming psychiatrist she knows and trusts suggest that she and her husband Bill (Christopher Stone) join him at his therapeutic retreat "The Colony". I won't spoil the movie by going into detail about what happens next, but it's creepy and entertaining. Wallace is very good and Picardo, who usually plays comic roles, is convincing as Quist the psycho nut job. 'The Howling' was co-written by John Sayles, who pops up in a cameo, as does Roger Corman, and super fan Forrest J. Ackerman, former editor of 'Famous Monsters Of Filmland'. Dante is a loyal guy who always likes to acknowledge where he is coming from, so as well as Corman and Ackerman there are roles for horror legend John Carradine, Kevin McCarthy ('Invasion Of The Body Snatchers'), Kenneth Tobey ('The Thing From Another World'), Slim Pickens ('Dr Strangelove') and Dick Miller (as "Walter Paisley" his character in Corman's 1950s b-grade classic 'A Bucket Of Blood'). 'The Howling' is sure to be enjoyed by every horror buff and for me is one of the all time best werewolf movies along with Universal's 'The Wolf Man' and Hammer's underrated 'The Curse Of The Werewolf'.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

10 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Howling See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$17,985,893

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$17,985,893
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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